CALL OF DUTY.

Author:Suderman, Peter
Position:VIDEO GAME
 
FREE EXCERPT

About 93 percent of Americans watch sports. I am one of the 7 percent that doesn't watch a single game in a given year. Yet recently I have come to realize that there is, in fact, a sport I like: Call of Duty, an online video game about virtually shooting the avatars of other players, ideally in the face.

Call of Duty is, on the surface, a first-person shooter game. But with its annual season, its consistent playing field for all who compete, and its intricate, fast-moving tactical play, it's also an "esport"--one that just happens to be built around the simulation of repeatedly murdering everyone on the other team.

One of the reasons for my lack of interest in traditional sports is that they serve as a stand-in for violent nationalistic conflict. This is particularly true of football. Call of Duty, I suspect, fulfills a similar role on a micro level, channeling individual aggression rather than amplifying it, transferring certain impulses into something that...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP